Mardi Gras, February 13, is the last day to revel with decadent food and spirits before the Lenten season, which begins on Wednesday, February 14. Between now and Lent, the Belles will be celebrating it up big time with balls, parades and parties in homes and on the streets. And for those who serve and imbibe strong drink, bourbon will be ever-present at those festivities.
Few know that New Orleans was a bourbon trading town in the early 1800s. Bourbon is as important to the Gulf Shores region as it is to Kentucky. It is also important to Black women who have steadily increased their interest in and consumption of “America’s native spirit” over the past 10 years or more.
To honor Mardi Gras, bourbon and the Belles who love both, here are five cocktails found in New Orleans, Mobile and other cities celebrating Mardi Gras and Creole culture. These cocktails are great for casual and formal events, indoors and outdoors, and every conceivable meal during a day (or two) of revelry.
Mardi Gras Drinks with Bourbon To Add to Your Menu
Canal Street Daisy or Bourbon Daisy
The Canal Street Daisy or Bourbon Daisy is said to have been created right on Canal Street in New Orleans, near the beginning of the Mardi Gras parade route.
Bourbon Milk Punch
Milk Punch is a Creole holiday staple. Bourbon Milk Punch is a great choice for Mardi Gras brunches and luncheons. It looks a lot like eggnog but in composition, it is lighter, boozier with less dairy and no eggs. And you don’t need to wait for a holiday to enjoy it.
This is a serious no-brainer cocktail or remedy, whichever you choose. Ending a night of serious celebration with your granny’s hot toddy recipe infused with bourbon could be what the doctor ordered. Or you could make it to take the chill off after a busy day of parades.
(Bourbon) Mint Julep
The Mint Julep may be associated with the Kentucky Derby but it is a Southern favorite, especially during Mardi Gras. Refreshing and deceptively potent, the julep is great for your Mardi Gras brunch at home. And it is an all-purpose bourbon cocktail that never fails.
So how will you take your bourbon this Mardi Gras Season? Bourbon lovers, how do you take your bourbon?
Advertising creative director Angela Raspberry knows what she likes. She stated, “With so many more brands on the shelf, bourbon has become a lot more approachable. Mostly gone are the days of simple vodka and gin drinks. ‘Dainty’ drinks. Women want smoke, herbal infusions, bitters, layers, levels and the kind of complexity offered by bourbon.”
Follow these Black women mixologists on Instagram and you may find other cocktails and more bourbon recipes for Mardi Gras and beyond: The Cocktail Bandits (@cocktailbandits), JusTini (@justinicocktails), and Eve Marie Haydel (@evemarie_neworleans).0